Ultimate Maternity Capsule Wardrobe "How to" Guide, with Preggo Style Tips and Sample Mix-and-Match Wardrobes!

The Ultimate Maternity Capsule Wardrobe "How to" Guide, with Preggo Style Tips and Sample Mix-and-Match Wardrobes!

So much graat info here! - Curious how to make a Capsule Wardrobe for pregnancy?  Here is the ultimate Maternity minimalist closet guide, with easy fashion tips, pictures, and inspiration.. Simple, effortless, confident preggo style! Pregnant Project 333 ideas too! via Devastate Boredom

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Hello friends!  I'm typing frantically to get as much done as possible while the baby is napping... forgive any typos or unusually sloppy writing!!  Also, quick note, this post might not seem very relevant to you right now... if it seems like it might be helpful in the future, be sure to pin it so you don't forget about it! It would also be super nice if you shared this info with any friends who might find it more useful at the moment! 😊  Please and thank you... you're the best!

Knowing me and my passion for Capsule Wardrobes, you probably already guessed that I created a maternity Capsule during my pregnancy.  I'll be honest, it wasn't perfect, but I learned a lot about preggo style in the process!  This post will encompass a few different things -- the details of what my "hacked" Capsule looked like and how I went about putting it together, tips on general pregnancy fashion and how to make a fully mix-and-mach wardrobe, and a sample "ideal" maternity Capsule Wardrobe to get your creative juices flowing.  

So first off, let me tell you about MY maternity Capsule Wardrobe!  If you've read my book (NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT TOO, eeeeeeek!!) or been following me for a while, you might know that my highlight colors for my "regular" Capsule Wardrobe are red, blue and turquoise, with a family of neutrals consisting of white, black, and grey.  I had this idea that I would make my maternity Capsule around other colors (just for the sake of variety) and so started shopping with vague thoughts of yellow or pink or purple... only to have my maternity Capsule end up mostly black, red, and grey despite myself, haha!  In my attempt to "change things up" I even bought a pair of tan maternity corduroy pants... but I wore them a grand total of ZERO times.  I tried them on twice, but they just weren't me.  All of which I took as further proof that humans don't really crave much novelty... we're drawn to our "favorites" consistently over and over again!  So build a closet strategically around those and call it a (happy, confident) day!  There's my Capsule Wardrobe philosophy in a nutshell lol.  


How to Create a Maternity Capsule Wardrobe the easy "hacked" way:


Step one -- raid your existing closet.  You're looking for loose-fit tops and/or items with some stretch.  Low-rise pants can work for a while just regularly, and when you start to outgrow them you can use this nifty hairband trick to extend their lifespans a little longer into your pregnancy.  Stretchy jersey skirts or dresses also work nicely for pregnancy wear.  I wore mine the whole pregnancy without having to replace them with actual "maternity" dresses / skirts.  Same for open / swingy cardigans, the kind without buttons... your regular ones will work fine through your whole pregnancy.  

Step two -- fill in gaps with strategic Capsule purchases.  Consider that you will be pregnant for basically three seasons.  Lucky you if those seasons are spring / summer / fall because you can pretty much just buy warm-weather items and layer up for chilly days... I was pregnant fall / winter / spring so I had a less flexible Capsule.  


The Contents of My "Hacked" Maternity Capsule Wardrobe:

  • two heavy maternity sweaters, 1 black polka dot and 1 grey
  • four lightweight long sleeve tops, 2 red and 2 grey (1 of the grey was a "swingy" top from my regular closet)
  • one short-sleeve black maternity t-shirt
  • one short-sleeve black maternity t-shirt dress
  • one pair of maternity jeans
  • one pair of black and white patterned maternity capris
  • one pair of red stretchy skinny pants, from my regular closet
  • one pair of black stretchy skinny pants, from my regular closet
  • one jersey layering dress, grey and white striped, from my regular closet
  • two jersey skirts, 1 knee-length red and 1 black maxi, from my regular closet
  • one open / swingy cream cardigan, from my regular closet
  • one open grey sweater vest, from my regular closet
Ignoring the fact that some of the items pictured have short sleeves when they should have long, the image below represents what that gave me to work with. 


So much graat info here! - Curious how to make a Capsule Wardrobe for pregnancy?  Here is the ultimate Maternity minimalist closet guide, with easy fashion tips, pictures, and inspiration.. Simple, effortless, confident preggo style! Pregnant Project 333 ideas too! via Devastate Boredom




That's 7 tops, 8 bases, and 2 layering piece, making 17 items that combine into 60+ different outfit options for a standard fall / spring day.  I had fewer options on an extra cold or hot day, but since I was trying to really limit my expenditures I didn't mind dealing with a less effective version of a Capsule for a few months.  

Notice that I had extensive color overlap in my bases and tops... black, grey, and red in both.  As I explain in my book, Secrets of the Capsule Wardrobe, this is NOT ideal!  Mixing and matching with my maternity closet was not nearly as effortless as I usually like, and I ended up having to do a rushed load of laundry or borrow a t-shirt from my husband a few times as a result.  Thankfully he has a nice collection of superhero tees so my inner-nerd didn't mind terribly, but still, the point of having a Capsule Wardrobe is to have maximum outfit options with as little hassle as possible.  As I mentioned above, my situation was due to the fact that I hacked this wardrobe by raiding my existing closet for most of my bases, so I just dealt with the inconvenience to avoid further purchases.  The sample wardrobe below is an ideal, no-color-overlap example, with a lot more flexibility as a result. 

Ideas for an Effortless Mix-and-Match Pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe:


So much graat info here! - Curious how to make a Capsule Wardrobe for pregnancy?  Here is the ultimate Maternity minimalist closet guide, with easy fashion tips, pictures, and inspiration.. Simple, effortless, confident preggo style! Pregnant Project 333 ideas too! via Devastate Boredom



By carefully segmenting color choices by category (layering / tops / bases) you provide for maximum (mindless) mix-and-matching.  The only place the colors overlap in this sample wardrobe is the white layering pieces and the white shorts... but I figured that was safe because you're less likely to need a sweater on a day hot enough to wear shorts.  If you layering up even when you're wearing shorts, you would just sub the white shorts with another color.

Ready for the grand total of possible outfits here??  7 bases + 14 tops + 3 layering pieces = 250+ possible combinations.  Twenty-four pieces of clothing, combining into two hundred and fifty different outfits, spanning three seasons!  Ultimate flexibility, while completely preventing any "what to wear??" dilemmas from overtaxing your poor pregnancy-occupied brain.  You have much better things to think about!  Names, for example, and that baby registry!  (check out my thoughts on baby registries and minimalist parenting here... ooooh mama! *shakes head*)

Other Tips for General Preggo Style and How to Build a Maternity Capsule Wardrobe:


As I always say, BALANCE YOUR BASES!  I don't have time to go into what that means here, but if you aren't familiar with the idea from my previous posts then consider checking out my book, where I explain not only that, but also my theories behind color choice, how to find your personal style, the importance of a variety of clothing "silhouettes," and more.

Look for maternity tops that double as discreet nursing tops too.  If you're deliberate about this, you can get a head start building your nursing Capsule Wardrobe while you are still pregnant!  Go you!  A number of the tops in the sample wardrobe above are nursing tops... can you tell which ones?  

Be aware of horizontal stripes.  At first I typed "Beware of horizontal stripes" but that is too strong a recommendation because I firmly believe you should wear what you like with no rules!  But I'll just share my personal experience that towards end of my pregnancy, I wore a horizontal striped shirt to an event.  I later looked at photos of that event, and felt like I could have picked a more flattering top. 😜  When you're dealing with that many changes in your body over that short a length of time, and you have that many hormones bouncing around and making you crazier than usual, emphasizing the body-changes with horizontal stripes might not be a strategic choice psychologically.  However, this might also be my own personal insecurities talking, so take this paragraph with a grain of salt and decide for yourself.

Be aware of the "oven effect."  As you are baking that adorable little bun, you will experience what I like to call the "oven effect."  Even if you are normally the kind of person who carries a sweater wherever you go, you might find yourself a great deal warmer now that you're pregnant.  The "heavy sweaters" I noted in my list were actually only about medium weight, and one of them only had half-sleeves.  I also purchased a maternity coat, and I think I only wore it maybe three times and I don't think I ever actually zipped it up.  Now granted, I live in the South so I'm sure that was a factor, but you are less likely to need a lot of heavy winter clothing while you are pregnant.  Consider waiting on those purchases until it's actually cold, and you can see whether you will actually need them.

Maternity clothing that fits you at the beginning of your pregnancy might not fit you at the end.  I personally liked the fitted maternity tops with rouched sides, showing off my bump and avoiding the tent look, but even though I stayed pretty trim during my pregnancy that style (in that original size) was way too tight by the end.  So be aware that you might out-grow your maternity tops if you buy a bunch of these type at the beginning of your pregnancy.  That is OK!  Your baby needs nutrients, and gaining weight is part of a healthy pregnancy!  Just plan ahead for that, and either consider incorporating some "swing" tops with a looser fit into your Capsule from the beginning OR know you might end up doing some shopping later in your pregnancy as well.  Either option works.

Consider secondhand options!  Do you have friends around your size who were recently preggo?  Ask if they would mind you borrowing some of their old maternity stuff!  I bought a good bit of my pregnancy Capsule Wardrobe at a local consignment shop called One Hott Mamma (Charlotte ladies, be sure to check them out!) and there are lots of great online consignment shops like Thred-Up (use my link for $10 off!) and Swap.com (use my link for 20% off!) that also carry maternity. Secondhand options will not only save you money but are also good for our planet and help eliminate waste.  Rack up that preggo karma yo!

Remember that maternity clothes websites are there to SELL YOU CLOTHES.  Lately I've seen a number of people selling lots of maternity clothing on ebay, yardsale groups etc, and in this case that word "lots" works both ways.  Some people buy a LOT of preggo clothes!  We're talking 6 pairs of shorts, 7 pairs of jeans, 20 tops... LOTS.  While it is completely your business if you have the funds and the inclination to stuff your closet with items that you'll only be wearing for about 7 months, I think ladies also end up buying more than they mean to simply because they aren't directed in their shopping, and store advertising is persuasive.  Like I mentioned earlier, a maternity store will do their best to sell you an open / swing cardigan that is identical to the one you probably already have in your closet, only this one has "maternity" on the label.  Don't fall for it!  Take a moment to envision your priorities for your pregnancy and then limit your shopping to what fulfills those goals.  Heck, Motherhood Maternity sells SLIPPERS.  There is absolutely no need for pregnancy-specific-slippers, but enough people go "oh sure, I'll get that too" that it makes sense for the site to stock them.  So, as I always say, think about curating a beautiful collection of clothing that expresses you (glowing, gorgeous, growing-a-tiny-human you, at the moment!) and don't get tricked into a bunch of randomness that doesn't qualify.

Building an effortless, confident Capsule Wardrobe for pregnancy is really more or less the same process as building one for non-preggo life (with the addition of the bowling ball under your shirt and that perpetual queasy feeling), so if you could still use more guidance and ideas be sure to check out my book, Secrets of the Capsule Wardrobe: How to Find Your Personal Style and Build a Happy, Confident Closet!  Did I mention its now available in PRINT?? 😍 Even better, click to find out how you can read the ebook version out for free by using a trial (or your existing subscription) to Kindle Unlimited... frugal bonus points!  

*Whew*!  I hope all that was helpful.  All I have left to say is, congratulations!!  Enjoy your pregnancy -- if not the morning sickness and expanding waistline, then the knowledge that you are doing something miraculous and beautiful, even as you sit on the couch with your swollen feet propped up, eating pasta for the ninth day in a row because it's all you can keep down. 😬  Hopefully this guide can help you simplify your closet into something that helps you feel confident and attractive, even on those days that you're pretty sure you're green and not glowing... and I promise, the discomforts are temporary!  Plus, that tiny, squirmy, noisy bundle of joy you get in exchange is so worth it. 😀  *hugs*


Curious how to make a Capsule Wardrobe for pregnancy?  Here is the ultimate Maternity minimalist closet guide, with easy fashion tips, pictures, and inspiration.. Simple, effortless, confident preggo style! Pregnant Project 333 ideas too! via Devastate BoredomIntrigued by the idea of a confident, easy Capsule Wardrobe??  Sign up for my "Make Your Closet Amazing" newsletter for periodic sale alerts and style suggestions!

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2 comments

  1. Hi Sarah Eliza! I miss ya when ya don't post for a while. but I totally get how babies keep ya on the run!
    I thought I recognized that grey and white striped dress!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally lucked out with hand-me-downs for this...and if only you'd have been around the corner and could have benefitted from these as well!

    ReplyDelete

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